UGBC presidential and vice presidential campaign season kicked off Tuesday morning, with two teams announcing their bids in the election on April 3.
The candidates for president are Jonah Kotzen, Council for Students with Disabilities policy coordinator and MCAS ’24, and Jordan Nakash, BAIC ambassador, former Student Assembly (SA) representative, and MCAS ’24.
Their respective running mates are Meghan Heckelman, UGBC director of Student Initiatives and LSEHD ’25, and Yosan Tewelde, AHANA+ Leadership Council general coordinator and MCAS ’24.
Kotzen and Heckelman first announced their campaign, debuting their candidacy on an Instagram account, @jonahandmeghan4UGBC, at 9:00 a.m.
“We will never stop fighting for what is right, and we will always put the needs of our community first,” the launch post read. “Let’s work together to build a better Boston College– one that is truly accessible and inclusive for all.”
Nakash and Tewelde then launched their campaign on their Instagram account, @jordanandyosan4ugbc, at 10:01 a.m.
“We hope that with our leadership, the BC community can lay the foundation for future generations to Unite the Heights,” the debut post read.
In an interview with The Heights, Heckelman said a central component of their platform is making BC’s campus more accessible. Following the CSD’s announcement in an SA meeting that the University indefinitely postponed plans for a pavilion to make Upper Campus more accessible, Heckelman said she and Kotzen are seeking to find a temporary solution.
“Obviously, [the] end goal is having Upper Campus be accessible,” Heckelman said.
Addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion at BC is also a key piece of the campaign platform, particularly by expanding resources for LGBTQ+ students, Heckelman said.
“Another issue that obviously also came up recently is the lack of a queer resource center on this campus,” Heckelman said.
Kotzen said their platform also includes initiatives that would appeal to the student body at large, including digitizing Eagle IDs and improving BC’s meal plan.
“I’ve been personally working on the digitization of the Eagle ID, and that’s something we plan to continue to work on,” he said. “We also want to advocate for a meal swipe system instead of the à la carte system.”
For Nakash and Tewelde, unity is a central theme of their campaign, Nakash said to The Heights.
“Our slogan is ‘Unite the Heights,’ because we feel like we live on a pretty divided campus,” Nakash said. “Whether it be socially, racially, or any category that you can find, there seems to be some kind of division.”
Tewelde explained that their platform includes a 10-point policy plan that targets the needs of different groups of students. The plan includes points for first-generation students, Montserrat Coalition students, international students, transfer students, student engagement, athletics, environmental sustainability, women and gender, DEI, and general concerns.
“I can’t guarantee that everything will happen in one year, but they’re all policies that I believe are possible to happen,” Nakash said. “They’re things that we believe, whether it’s from our previous relationships with administrators or things that we’ve heard from the students, aren’t too far fetched to advocate for, and that’s what we wanted.”
Nakash said she believes she and Tewelde could foster a collaborative environment within UGBC and with other campus groups.
“We believe that if we win, we’ll have a dedicated team in UGBC who’s committed to working with each other, who’s committed to working with other organizations on campus, and committed to working with the administrators to be that bridge for students to work with administrators as well,” Nakash said.
Regardless of the election’s outcome, Kotzen said his and Heckelman’s primary goal is to voice the concerns of students,
“Meghan and I are not in this for the clout of being, you know, student body president and vice president,” he said. “The work will continue whether we win or lose, but we’re doing it because we want to help the student body, and we want to put their voices at the center stage.”
Both campaign teams will further present their platforms at the DEI Debate tonight in room 107 of 245 Beacon St.